How Collaborative Procurement Drives Collaboration, Education and Successful Outcomes

How Collaborative Procurement Drives Collaboration, Education and Successful Outcomes

Whenever an organization puts out a public RFP document, in some ways they are “rolling the dice” in terms of what solutions will be proposed by the market. Especially for organizations that must accept the lowest price qualified bid, there is a considerable risk that organizations may not get the exact product or service that they want or need.

Depending on the “tightness” of the scope of work or specifications in the RFP, and the respondent’s creativity in responding, respondents may be able to cut corners to lower bid costs. This can leave buyers in the uncomfortable position of either getting a result that is not what they wanted or expected or having to pay change order costs to enhance a bidder’s scope of work. Neither scenario is a positive outcome for the procurement professionals or the departments they are serving.

One of the less obvious (at least in terms of frequency of comments that we receive from clients and prospects when discussing Collaborative Procurement), is that the process allows buyers and vendors to collaborate and co-create a scope of work or specification. This all but guarantees that the end result will align with client expectations.

By enabling a results-focused conversation between the procurement team, the client end-user and the supplier, goals and objectives can be clearly articulated, and offerings can be tailored to meet the client’s specific needs.

The other side of this benefit is when a client doesn’t know exactly what they want. Being able to have a conversation with an expert can be an educational opportunity for a buying organization. By working collaboratively with a prequalified supplier, the buyer and their team can absorb a lot of knowledge during the process of crafting a scope of work or specification. The result is a more informed organization and a much higher likelihood of a successful project.

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